‘Needed to replace him’: Tuchel thought 22-year-old wasn’t good enough to start for Chelsea - journalist

Dean Jones has told GiveMeSport that Thomas Tuchel was hoping he could replace Conor Gallagher after believing he wasn’t good enough for his squad.

Gallagher has been an important member of the Chelsea side this year, after earning his stripes on loan at Crystal Palace last season.

However, he has struggled to live up for those heights at Stamford Bridge, with some of his performances coming into question already during this campaign.

Photo by Harriet Lander – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

The prime example of looking slightly out of his depth undoubtedly came in the victory at Stamford Bridge against Leicester City, where the team dug out a 2-1 win despite Gallagher’s first half red card.

It is fair to say though that he has been played out of position at times, compared to where he was thriving at Selhurst Park.

Tuchel didn’t rate Gallagher

Jones has claimed that Tuchel wouldn’t of minded replacing Gallagher during the summer, with him not believing he would strengthen his squad after returning from his loan away.

He said: “His big fear was that he’s not quite up to it and that he needed to replace him in the squad.

“Now, Gallagher’s job is to prove to him that it wasn’t wrong to put faith in him, so that’s what he has to do now.”

Photo by DENIS LOVROVIC/AFP via Getty Images

There are hopes that now Graham Potter is in charge of Chelsea, any potential system tweaks brought in would benefit Gallagher, with him featuring mostly this season in a role better suited to the likes of Jorginho.

Realistically, the Blues would only have been willing to replace the 22-year-old if they signed someone at the elite level, with their only real noted option being Frenkie de Jong.

However, the Dutchman’s insistence to stay at Barcelona ruled the Blues out of a move, and only an emergency loan signing of Denis Zakaria on deadline day actually added numbers to the position late this summer.

Jack is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has freelanced for The Athletic and The Sun. Jack has reported live from Premier League and Championship grounds, whilst also being published in the Non League Paper.